Laurel’s Bo Dickerson Band ready for bigger stages

The Bo Dickerson Band will play the Delaware Junction country music festival Saturday afternoon in Harrington. Members are Brian Licinski on bass, Jordan Harper on guitar, Neal Rudolf on drums, lead singer Mr. Dickerson, David Hastings on guitar and John Warren on keyboard. (Submitted photo)

The Bo Dickerson Band will play the Delaware Junction country music festival Saturday afternoon in Harrington. Members are Brian Licinski on bass, Jordan Harper on guitar, Neal Rudolf on drums, lead singer Mr. Dickerson, David Hastings on guitar and John Warren on keyboard. (Submitted photo)

You’ll excuse Bo Dickerson if he’s a bit on edge these days.

His Bo Dickerson Band is playing the first Delaware Junction country music festival in Harrington on Saturday.

Tonight, the Laurel-based group is opening for country great David Allan Coe at The Amphitheater at Heron Ponds in Delmar, Maryland.

And oh yes, his wife Mindy is nine months pregnant and about deliver their first child together.

“My wife is giving birth to my son any day now and this is the biggest weekend of my career. It’s a pretty crazy time in my life right now. That’s for sure,” said Mr. Dickerson, who already has four boys in the house, two from his previous marriage and two from Mrs. Dickerson’s.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copyHe’s been on Cloud Nine ever since late last month when he found out his band would be playing Delaware Junction country music festival which gets underway today.

The Bo Dickerson Band won a contest sponsored by Salisbury, Maryland radio station Froggy 99.9-FM. Froggy picked three groups to submit an original song and after two weeks of listener voting for the best tune, the local boys came out on top.

Their song “Wedding Band” was picked over tunes by a Maryland and Virginia group and gave the Bo Dickerson Band a 3:25 p.m. spot on the Next From Nashville Stage.

They will perform right after Lewes’ Sara Ann Garrison who kicks off the whole day at 2:45 p.m.

Smyrna-based Country By Night will be the first band to play the inaugural festival when they take the Next From Nashville Stage today at 2:15 p.m.

For Mr. Dickerson, the chance to play the festival is “huge.”

“It’s great exposure. I went to (Dover’s) Big Barrel Festival (in June) just as a fan and there were 30,000 people,” he said.

“To go from playing in bars to a couple of hundred people to playing in front of a crowd of potentially (thousands) will boost us greatly.”

And it all started with him singing karaoke in a Laurel nightspot back in 2010.

“I was singing all by myself and this guy came up to me who had been in a rock band but was looking to start a country band and was looking for a singer,” he recalled.

“I had sung in church all my life but never really had a band behind me. I had some free time on my hands since I had just gotten divorced. Turned out the guy lived five minutes away from me. We found a bass player and just started jamming a few days later.”

The man he met turned out to be the band’s guitarist David Hastings.

“Bo has a very distinct voice. I thought it stood out among other singers. It’s kind of harsh and raspy but in a good way if that makes sense,” Mr. Hastings said.

“He is best at singing older country music in my opinion but he can sing just about anything you want including rock songs. He was exactly what I was looking for in a singer and still is. Yes there are better technical singers out there with more range and use a lot of vibrato in their singing and that’s great but I would take Bo over them any day of the week.”

The band also comprises lead guitarist Jordan Harper, bass player Brian Licinski, drummer Neal Rudolph and the newest member, John Warren on keyboards.

All are from Laurel except for Mr. Warren, who is from Dover.

This isn’t the first time Froggy 99.9 has helped the band’s career. Not long after forming, they entered a station competition to perform at the annual Pig in Park festival in Salisbury.

“We really only knew three songs at the time but we won the contest and Froggy really helped us with promotion and things like that. Venues started calling us right after that,” Mr. Dickerson said.

“We had only really known each other for three months. But we started learning new songs and we got work pretty quickly.”

Now the band can be found in and around the area most every weekend performing mainly cover tunes with a few originals mixed in from time to time.

Along with the Delaware Junction spot, Mr. Dickerson also is excited to open for Mr. Coe tonight.

“I’ve loved him forever. This is really a dream come true,” he said.

A union carpenter and watermelon farmer by day, Mr. Dickerson said he’d ditch the hammer and hoe for a microphone with no hesitation.

“There’s not better lifestyle for me. Hanging drywall is the real world for me. But singing in a band full-time — that seems like an easier way to go. This weekend is really a shot at fame for us,” he said.

Ticket information for tonight’s show with Mr. Coe can be found at heronpondslive.com. More information on Delaware Junction can be obtained by visiting delawarejunctionfestival.com.

Kent Theatre Guild season slate

The Kent County Theatre Guild recently announced its slate of shows for the 2016 season.

It starts with Tom Stoppard’s Shakesperean comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” on Feb. 26-28 and March 4-6.

On April 22-24, 29-30 and May 1, the Guild will present the 1930s’ murder-mystery “Design for Murder” directed by Steve Caporiccio.

The musical “Funny Girl” will be up next on July 15-17 and 22-24.

The classic courtroom drama “Twelve Angry Men” comes to order Sept. 16-18 and 23-25. It will be directed by Patti Gatto.

The Guild will close out the year by celebrating “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Dec. 2-4 and 9-11.

The 2016 slate marks a change from recent years where the Guild has staged seven shows over three weekends as opposed its new format of six shows over two weekends.

“We polled our people that volunteer, and we found the many people don’t volunteer because of the three-weekend commitment. By going to two weekends, we save a little money on royalties by doing six shows, instead of seven,” said John Muller, chairman of the board of trustees.

“We may encourage more people to participate with no fear of the three-weekend commitment, and we shift the people that were coming on that seventh show to the other shows, which gives us more ‘butts in seats’ for a fuller house.

“There was a lot of thought and research put into the change. We hope it works all the way around.”

The Guild is looking for directors for the three shows without one.

Those interested should contact Mr. Muller at kctginfo@kctg.org for more information.

Applications to direct will close on Sept. 1.

There are still two more productions left in its expanded 2014-15 season.

The Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” directed by David Wharff will be staged Sept. 25-26 and Oct. 2-4 and 9-10.

A combination of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” directed by Paul Janiga will end the season Dec. 4-5, 11-12-13 and 18-19.

For more information, visit www.kctg.org. The Guild’s Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 E. Roosevelt Ave.

Artful spending

To keep the county’s cultural gears going, the Kent County Fund for the Arts recently awarded $18,100 to local arts programs and organizations. They are:

• VSA Delaware — $3,000 for its Performing Arts Residency for Transitional Students.

• Biggs Museum of American Art — $1,750 for the Junior Docent program.

• Wesley College — $2,250 for the annual arts and culture series.

• Delaware Children’s Theatre —$2,500 for its production of “Shrek: The Musical”.

• Delaware Choral Society — $3,000 for its performance of Hayden’s Nelson Mass with Orchestra.

• Cathedral Choir School of Delaware — $2,500 for its joint concert with Capital Ringers at the Smyrna Opera House.

• Schwartz Center for the Arts — $1,000 for its blues harmonica performance and school participation.

• Delaware Friends of Folk — $2,100 to fund its free monthly concert series at the Old State House.

The Kent County Fund for the Arts, a fund of the CenDel Foundation, was created in 2008 through a contribution by Rosemary M. Twilley, in memory of lawyer Joshua M. Twilley and with additional support from members of the Kent County community, the CenDel Foundation, and arts patrons across the state. The fund’s assets are administered by the Kent County Fund for the Arts Advisory Board.

For more information, call (302) 571-8004 or visit www.delcf.org.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is a movie version of the classic television show “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” with Henry Cavil and Armie Hammer and “Straight Outta Compton,” the story of the revolutionary rap group N.W.A.

Nothing of note is being released on DVD and download next week.

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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